Oxford men are national tennis champions
Members of the Oxford men's tennis team punctuated the 2014-15 academic year with an exclamation point, winning the NJCAA III men's tennis national tournament. Oxford beat out 11 other teams from across the country in the competition, which took place May 11-14 at Collin College in Plano, Texas.
The team is coached by Pernilla Hardin, who was named the NJCAA Division III Men's Coach of the Year. Says Hardin, "The players really worked hard and supported each other all year. Their motto was 'do your job,' and all of their hard work and dedication paid off. They did such a great job at nationals and I am extremely proud of them and am especially proud of Ian Lu and Chris Giles as captains who won both singles and double matches."
Oxford entered the tournament as heavy favorites and lived up to their seeds; with no flight seeded lower than second. Oxford dominated during play, winning seven out of nine flights and all six flights in singles matches. This was despite being something of a David among Goliaths. Rowan Gloucester College and Suffolk County College, the two teams finishing second and third behind Oxford in the competition, have enrollments of 6,600 and 26,500 respectively, compared to Oxford's approximately 950 students.
Every member of the Oxford team advanced to the finals matches. The team includes Chris Giles, Concord, Mass.; James Heaney, New Canaan, Conn.; Peter Higgins, Vidalia, Ga.; Frank Lin, Wuhan, China; Ian Lu, Johns Creek, Ga.; and Shams Sohani, Chattanooga, Tenn; Vignesh Sundaram, Sherman, Tex.; and Zachary Yao, Shanghai, China.
Here are the winning scores from the national championship singles and double matches:
#1 Flight James Heaney 6-3, 6-2
#2 Flight Peter Higgins 6-4, 6-1
# 3 Flight Ian Lu 6-4, 6-0
# 4 Flight Chris Giles 6-3, 6-3
# 5 Shams Sohani 6-3, 6-3
#6 Frank Lin 6-1, 7-6
# 2 Flight Doubles
Ian Lu and Christopher Giles 6-1,6-2
In addition, Giles, Heaney, Higgins, Lin, Lu, and Sohani were named First Team All-American.
This is Oxford's fifth national tennis title in the last decade. In 2011, the Oxford women's team was NJCAA Division III national champions, and Oxford men won previously in 2006, 2007, and 2009.